‘I won’t let him ruin my life’ – schoolgirl rape victim’s bravery after Park Lane attack

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The schoolgirl rape victim of a teenage sex attacker says she is determined not to let him ruin her life.

The brave 15-year-old has spoke out in the hope it will encourage other victims not to suffer alone.

She was attacked in Sunderland city centre by Bradley Mort, 19, who is now serving a seven-year sentence in a young offenders’ institution after a jury found him guilty of rape after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mort was subject to a two-year supervision order after pleading guilty to a previous charge of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault, when he carried out the attack on wasteland near Park Lane interchange.

It was weeks later before the teenager – who had been making her way home after being contacted by her parents telling her she was late – would tell anyone what had happened to her on that night.

“I was on my way home when I heard him shout,” said the girl, who is undergoing counselling after her ordeal.

“I just froze. He just grabbed me and dragged me onto the wasteland and raped me. It was hard to tell someone.

“I was numb. I couldn’t believe what had happened to me.

“But I’m glad I told someone. Some people didn’t believe me, that was hard and having to tell people what happened.

“But the police are there for you and do support you.

“I just don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through.

“I still have nightmares and flashbacks from the night, I know I have got a long way to go, but hard as it is, I am not going to let him ruin my life.”

Her distraught father said: “I just feel as though we have let her down as parents. As a parent you just want to protect your child, but they should be allowed out.

“I was hoping I would be happy after he was sentenced, but I wasn’t. I was just so angry.

“He has turned our lives upside down. My daughter is just a shell of her former self.

“She is having counselling to try to rebuild her life, but at the minute she just seems to have lost interest in everything.

“She is so brave, to not only tell someone, but to not back down and go through with the trial, even when there were people who didn’t believe her.

“We are so incredibly proud of her.”

Mort was also placed on an indefinite sexual-harm prevention order.